"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Resisting Trident - Risking Arrest


Resisting nuclear weapons is a tricky business. Actions have consequences, and in the case of nonviolent resistance to Trident, which has been the focus of Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action for over 30 years, the action of crossing the blue line painted across the roadway entering Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor can range from a relatively benign ban and bar letter to a Federal trial before a magistrate judge that might result in prison time and a monetary fine.

Many people have risked arrest for more than thirty years, blocking the railroad tracks and highways entering the Trident base, physically (and morally) resisting the genocidal (or perhaps I should call them omnicidal) weapons with which the U.S. government threatens the world (Bangor is home to roughly one fourth of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile). Each person goes through a discernment process before choosing to risk arrest, considering the possible consequences; participants do not take that commitment lightly.

There have been numerous trials over the years, and this October there will be another. One of GZ's younger members, Nicole Scott, twice crossed the blue line during vigils and nonviolent actions at the Trident submarine base in 2008. She will face trial in U.S. District Court on October 7th. You can read the details as well as Nicole's personal statement in the news release below.

If you happen to be in the neighborhood on October 7th, drop by to show your support for Nicole.
Members of Ground Zero will also be leafleting in front of the Federal Courthouse in downtown Tacoma, Washington during the lunch hour to focus attention on Keep Space for Peace Week and Trident. Click here for directions, and parking and transit information for the Tacoma Union Station Courthouse.



Photo Note: Nicole Scott being escorted off the submarine base after her arrest on May 10, 2008. Photos by Leonard Eiger, Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action.


Federal Trial for Civil Resistance at Trident Submarine Base

A Federal hearing will be held for nuclear weapons resister Nicole Scott on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 1:30 PM in courtroom G, Hon. James P. Donohue (Magistrate Judge) in United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Tacoma.

Ms. Scott is charged with Title 18 USC Section 1382, “which prohibits any person from entering any military installation for any purpose prohibited by law. In addition, this section precludes individuals who have been removed from bases and instructed not to reenter from reentering without permission.”

The defendant was most recently arrested May 10th, 2008 at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor during a Mother’s Day peace vigil when, along with 5 others, she entered the roadway on Federal property and knelt down, blocking the highway entrance.

Ms. Scott was previously arrested during a January 19, 2008 peace vigil in which she and 5 other resisters entered the roadway on Federal property singing “We Shall Overcome” while 5 others blocked the highway entrance to the Trident submarine base while holding a banner with a statement by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. which stated, "When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men."

When asked why she participated in nonviolent resistance against Trident, Ms. Scott said that, "The advance of nuclear technology and militarism has not come without the reach of communities standing up for their own well-being, in ways that can be sustained for generations to come. I support the cause of nuclear abolition in solidarity with people across the globe who are taking power back into their communities resisting all stages of nuclear production, working towards harmonious relationships with the earth."

Ms. Scott is a member of Ground
Zero Center for Nonviolent Action, Poulsbo, Washington. For over thirty years Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action has engaged in education, training in nonviolence, community-building, resistance against Trident and action toward a world without nuclear weapons.

Note: Please check Judge Donohue’s calendar at
http://www.wawd.uscourts.gov/calendars/MagistrateJudgeJamesP.DonohueCalendar.htm since the docket may be subject to change.

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